How has this this happened? My little girl is seven years old. My dad told me “see the child at seven, see the adult.” If this is true then I’ve no worries; Roo is lovely, caring, fun and beautiful — there are a million more superlatives I could use, perhaps one will do: She’s perfect.
We met a few friends at Burpham field.
Sunday 1 May 2022
Monday 2 May 2022
Thursday 5 May 2022
We took Rootwo for a scoot along the beach. Rootwo was at her first Brownies meet!
Saturday 7 May 2022
Hanging out with the fam.
Sunday 8 May 2022
C’s birthday party in full swing. 🎂
Monday 9 May 2022
Submit social housing data private beta is (almost) a go. To celebrate the team spent time together in Made Tech’s London office and Dushan brought a cake. It was delicious! Hopefully we’ll go live tomorrow.
Tuesday 10 May 2022
There’s this sign outside Made Tech’s London office for the London Low Line. A bit of searching online tells me it marks a walking route around some of the in use and abandoned railway arches. Next time I’m in the office I’m going to follow it.
Thursday 12 May 2022
Stuff Rootwo says, when he has an idea: “My got my idea”.
While Roo was at Brownies. Rootwo and I played in the park. He was very sweet, I love hanging out with him one on one. He was telling me about how “chocolate scared the birdies and they ran away.” 🙃
Friday 13 May 2022
Board On Friday! We all played “6 Nimmt!”. Rich brought “Libertalia Winds of Galecrest” which was really fun. Flix, et al played “Creature Comforts”.
Saturday 14 May 2022
The kids doing all the hard work.
Littlehampton Parkrun. Not my best, but I did it in 24:19. Nice to see Sam, Luke and Al.
The weather is 😎 glorious. Roo and I cycled down to the beach and built an epic stone castle.
Sunday 15 May 2022
Roo’s spy kit. She created this spy kit, it contains:
- A mirror for looking over railings.
- 2 x glasses for disguises.
- A rolled-up piece of paper, for looking at things.
- A notepad and pen.
- A “Plumber” (ear-bud) for tiny toilets.
- Emergency balloon.
Wednesday 18 May 2022
I’m back in Brownhills. My poor mom is still in hospital, so I’m back for a couple of days to visit her.
Today, I took a stroll down the cut to Chasewater. Of course—of course—there was some bloke on a petrol-powered scooter. Why buy an electric one when you can announce your arrival two kilometres away?
God, it’s pretty down here in the summer. Weeping Willows droop their fronds into the water while swans drift gracefully by. A lucky few in Brownhills West have gardens that terminate at the canal. The homeowners have made the most of this enviable position with relaxing chairs, barbeques and chimineas. It must be idyllic on a warm summer’s night to sit out and watch the flotsam and jetsam drift by.
Up at the basin, near where Chasewater meets the canal, there are the remains of industry. Iron constructions look like they’re designed for loading coal into barges. The Hammerwich Colliery was nearby; perhaps they remain from those days? The pit was opened in 1849, so the iron works could be 173 years old.
Further up, there’s a slope that runs down to the water level. My dad said he thought this was an old boat lift, but I’m not sure. Searching online was a dead end, although I did find a brilliant Wyrley and Essington canal group on Flickr.
Thursday 19 May 2022
It is my last day staying at my parents’ house. I had another walk in the sunshine along the glorious Wyrley and Essington Canal.
Maybe it’s something to do with being in my 40s, but I’ve become obsessed with all the old shit along the canal. I’ve bored my dad with my new obsession, and when I get home, I plan to bore my wife.
Today I headed west, past Ogley Junction, where the Anglesea Branch gives way to the Wyrley and Essington Canal proper. Initially, the Anglesea Branch was a non-navigable feeder from Chasewater. In 1869, some bloke called the Marquess of Anglesey started digging up the coal near Chasewater and made the feeder channel wider.
Besides all the old shit, there was lots of new stuff too. Swans hissed as I passed by, protecting their cygnets. The canal was teeming with fish; bloody great Carp swimming among hundreds of smaller fish. The water was much cleaner than I remember, but there wasn’t anyone fishing, save one bloke with a pole on the jetty at the back of his garden. We used to fish for all kinds of species on the canal; it was odd not to see many more anglers. “They’re bloody hard to catch”, said a friend when I asked why people had stopped fishing the canal.
Saturday 21 May 2022
While the girls were away, the boys took the kids for a picnic. It was nice to hang with the chatterbaters, we ate food, explored the little wooded area and played on the park.
We played Catan for Luke’s birthday.
Sunday 22 May 2022
One of Roo’s friends had a birthday party at Fishers Farm. It was lovely for A’s mummies to invite Rootwo along, too.
Fishers Farm did a brilliant job of entertaining and feeding the children. All the kids had a fantastic time!
Wednesday 25 May 2022
We had some friends round for an early Jubilee-themed bring and share.
Friday 27 May 2022
Center Parcs day one. We’re finally on holiday. What a treat to have some time off work to decompress. I find it’s only when you stop you realise that the stress monster has been visiting.
Rootwo had a difficult morning, he was tired and probably feeling a bit ignored as we packed the car. He was sparked out within minutes of leaving home and slept most of the two hour journey. He woke a much happier boy and, after parking the car, we all made the happy walk to the Plaza.
Today, we explored for a bit and played in the parks. Later, after chucking stuff into the lodge, we went swimming. Roo’s now tall enough to ride everything. She had great fun on the Typhoon and Rapids.
Now Katie’s reading and I’m enjoying a beer as we wait for our curry. And… Relax.
Saturday 28 May 2022
After a somewhat unsettled night thanks to Rootwo and a noisy bed cover, we were running late for Rootwo’s mini trek adventure. Center Parcs at Longleat is big, but it’s surprising how quick you can get from one side to the other when pushing a buggy at full pelt down a hill. As a prize for his trekking, Rootwo was awarded with a cuddly fox toy. He was very sweet this evening introducing the newcomer to his other toys in bed.
It was then Roo’s turn for some climbing fun. She spent a sweaty hour on the indoor climbing wall. I think this is the first time I’ve seen her make it all the way to the top. Afterwards, we had a spot of lunch at the sports bar then Roo and I played on the static-shock-tastic play park. “You’re right Daddy, those slides do give you a big bang up the bum” she said after descending the largest slide.
We regrouped back at the lodge and I took the opportunity to go for a run while Rootwo was finishing his nap.
After dinner, we swam and slide and rode the water rides. Finally, two very tired children headed to bed at 9:30 pm. We’d better get a lay-in tomorrow.
Sunday 29 May 2022
Owls! The little one is called Megatron.
Longleat Forest is home to a family of wild cats. The kids used up our ham feeding this one. It looked genuinely terrified of Rootwo.
Center Parcs day three. Our last full day here started in typical Roobottom style with me and Roo running so we wouldn’t be late for our activity. “Baby Owls” was totally worth the effort. As the, um, owl wrangler(?) explained; the name is misleading as it’s an owl session for babies and the owls themselves are fully grown. However, he did actually have a baby owl. It was bloody massive with piercing yellow eyes. The clack of its powerful beak made me rather glad it couldn’t yet fly. The other owls were magnificent as they flew over our heads. We learned that only one species of owl says “who” and that owls are three times as successful at hunting as lions. We even got a demonstration of one little guy’s running technique. Apparently he’d been clocked sprinting at 13 mph.
Then, Roo and I met Rootwo and Katie in the playground, then we let them spend their birthday money in the toy shop. Rootwo immediately decided on a cuddly dinosaur. Rootwo took her time and eventually settled on a Dalmatian that she later named “Hero” when it softened Rootwo’s landing after he fell of a chair.
Later, we went swimming. “Swimming makes me feel happy, Mummy,” said Rootwo. Afterwards, we ate ice cream in the Plaza and rode the train. Before finally heading home for Pizza and bedtime. Phew!
Monday 30 May 2022
Center Parcs day four. After a morning mooching around play parks and eating sandwiches from the Park Market, we let the kids choose something from the sweet shop.
As we left, it started to pour. “Time to go” said Katie. The rain made us feel slightly less sad to leave.
“What was your favourite part?” Asked Katie in the car on the drive home.
“My liked parks, climbing and Center Parcs” said Rootwo. “No! My liked scooting the best.”
Everyone’s a critic.
Roo liked the slides, the rapids and Typhoon in the swimming pool.
Tuesday 31 May 2022
Cousins! We had a picnic up at Burpham with Katie’s sister and kids.